Rural/Metro Corp. prevailed over a New Yorkbased hedge fund’s attempt to unseat two members of its board of directors.
Certified voting results released Monday confi rm that shareholders re-elected the board’s chairman, Cor Clement Sr., and vice chairman Henry Walker during the annual stockholders meeting on Dec. 1.
However, the attempt by Accipiter Life Sciences Fund LP and its affi liates (Accipiter Group) no doubt sent a message to the company that shareholders expect more for their investment, said Phil Oelze, senior vice president of investments at UBS Financial Services in Scottsdale.
“Time will only tell if management responds to the question that the fund raised by trying to place two members on the board, which is how do you increase shareholder value,” he said. “Every shareholder is interested in that. I would think that management would continue to remind themselves and remind investors as to what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.”
Rural/Metro’s stock has been “stuck in place for quite awhile,” Oelze said. Accipiter and its affi liates have been accumulating shares of the Scottsdale-based emergency services provider, and now own more than 7.7 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.
The hedge fund wanted to replace Clement and Walker with two of its own candidates, Gabe Hoffman, Accipiter general partner, and Nicole Viglucci, a public equity health care investor with Accipiter.
Of the 19.9 million shares represented at the meeting, 62 percent were voted in favor of re-electing Clement and Walker. The results demonstrated that our stockholders supported our directors by a wide margin,” said Jack Brucker, Rural/Metro’s president and CEO. “We are very pleased by the confidence shown in our business strategies, our management team and our ability to create value for all of our stockholders.”